Photo: Protesters carry a banner reading, “Professor Thomas Hubbard Pedophile”
By Kali Abbott
On Monday night, a group of mainly women students from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and their supporters held a demonstration against UT professor Thomas Hubbard at his home. Protesters blocked his driveway with a large banner that read “Professor Thomas Hubbard: Pedophile” while chanting “Thomas Hubbard is a creep! Keep an eye out when you sleep!” and “When women and children are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”
Thomas K. Hubbard, a known misogynist and advocate for pedophilia, is a classics professor at UT who teaches classes like “Homosexuality in Ancient Greece & Rome,” which normalize and promote sexual relationships between adult men and pre-pubescent boys. He has called for lowering the age of consent, has been published by NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) for his multiple works arguing against the existence of statutory rape and age of consent laws, and is famously championed in online pedophile communities.
Hubbard also taught a class at UT called the “Mythology of Rape,” where he forced students to write about their experiences with sexual assault, and then later made them argue whether or not it is actually rape under Texas penal code. Although this course is now banned at UT due to a high volume of complaints, Hubbard is still teaching and continues to use this sexist-pedophilic rhetoric in his current courses, and is known for his misogynistic comments toward female students.
One of his past students said about the class, “He also had us write a paper over lowering the age of consent and lowering the punishment for sexually assaulting a child under the age of 6 (apparently 6 and under don’t know assault is bad, they only think it is bad later on because they are told it is bad). We were also asked our sexual preferences in class and asked if we ever had a desire to be raped.” Hubbard also forces students in his classes to regurgitate his own vile positions in their assignments in order to get better grades.
Earlier in the day, graffiti was seen in North Austin reading “Pedo Hubbard, watch your back,” and at his home, where a hammer and sickle was spray-painted on his driveway and a large tarp covered what appears to be more graffiti on his front porch. Reports from the demonstration indicate that Hubbard had covered whatever graffiti was on his home by painting a large white square over it.
The women students confronting Hubbard made it clear that the capitalist system protects and reproduces predators like Hubbard, and that the same system of oppression and exploitation cannot be relied upon for justice. One young women leading the home demonstration was heard saying, “We know UT won’t do anything and we don’t care because we can take care of you ourselves!”
Hubbard, who had been paranoid for weeks about being the next to fall prey to the militant student organizers, reportedly locking the doors to his classrooms, had the police show up within five minutes of the women banging on his door yelling, “Hubbard Hubbard you can’t hide, we know you’re a pedophile.” The women persisted with their action despite four police cars filled with officers showing up to protect him.
Activists gave speeches and talked to his neighbors out on the street. The surrounding neighbors came out of their homes during the disruption and voiced their support and gratitude towards the organizers. One woman across the street said, “Thank y’all for doing this! Today I found out my neighbor is a pedophile and we won’t let him forget it.”
Hubbard couldn’t handle more than twenty minutes in his home of being subjected to the loud protest before he sought a police escort to his car to escape. He needed multiple officers to get away from the wrath of the students as he ducked into his car in fear. One student giving a speech said, “Pedophilia apologists like you deserve to be confronted and to feel afraid! We will make you scared to teach, scared to leave your home, scared to even exist in the City of Austin!”
Despite Hubbard having fled from the scene, police remained to protect his property. The women were not surprised by this, given that a large percentage of police are pedophiles and abusers themselves and that Austin Police Department (APD) protects and promotes abusers like him to positions of power. APD police lieutenant Dustin Lee has been charged with three felonies of sexual assault of a minor, one of which involves his own daughter, and Jason Dusterhoft was fired for strangling a woman he met on tinder and for assaulting strippers at a nightclub. The women taunted the cops by chanting “Who protects pedophiles? Pigs do, pigs do!” and agitated around their long history of sexual violence against women and their position as enemies of the people.
This second action by “Fire the Abusers” came after a successful action against Sahotra Sarkar earlier this month where they occupied Sarkar’s classroom and drove him out. Fire the Abusers have only increased in militancy with this new action, contrasting with other organizations who are still holding pliant and unfruitful sit ins. The international support and anger of women around the world who cheered on the demonstration against Sarkar substantiate the need for direct action.
Women are not falling for anymore of the administration’s duplicities by getting sucked into false promises of meetings, town halls, and transparency. UT enacting new policies or reforms promises nothing to women. They know these professors are predators and have deliberately protected them. UT is a business and will continue to protect its revenue streams at all costs, including its students and the general public.
In recent bourgeois press articles, print space was provided to only the most conservative voices among women at UT, those who spoke of future leaders being subjected to Hubbard, and asking nicely that UT take action. The majority of women students however, are not asking nicely or relying on the administration for defense, they are uniting together around militant campaigns, bombarding the classrooms and homes of predatory men in positions of power.
The country generally is experiencing a shift in consciousness of young people, who have grown disillusioned with the system’s unwillingness to handle reactionaries like Hubbard and Sarkar. The #metoo movement, was only a brief glimpse at what is to come, when women from the most oppressed strata of US society unite and take matters into their own hands they can accomplish anything.
According to activists on the ground, the home demonstration against Hubbard was intended to take the fight out of classrooms and directly to the doorsteps of these men, showing them that they are not safe anywhere. The women organizers will confront them in their classes, their homes, and around town: pedophiles will not be safe anywhere.
Women at UT, and all over the world, have every right to confront their enemies, predators, and abusers. Fire the Abusers calls for women and students to join them and further progress this movement to run out predatory professors. Incendiary echoes this call and stands in solidarity with the courageous women students.